Chicken with enlarged and discolored leg


Apr 12, 2015
Hello. My chicken, Lucy, is a 4-1/2 year old Buff Orphington. She is a larger girl and has been fairly healthy. Last Monday, I noticed her left leg where her toes begin was larger than her right foot. The foot was not discolored. I assumed she had Bumblefoot since there is a possibility she stepped on a sharp edge of some chicken wire. I was out of town for work and had my parents take her to a vet on Wednesday. The vet stated it wasn't Bumblefoot however it was an infection and it was all the way up her leg so she started her on SpecLinx-50. I have to mix the powder with water. Since I wanted to make sure she is getting enough. I reduced the mixture (using the same formula of water to powder) so I could syringe feed her the entire amount.
Her leg is not getting better and it now looks green. A culture was sent out however it will take another 4 days to come back to see what the exact infection is. I'm afraid at this rate, Lucy won't make it that long. Has anyone seen anything like this? Is so, any suggestions on treatment since I do not have a lot of faith in the vet even though the vet clinic does treat chickens.


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I am not a vet, but it looks to me possibly like a sprained ankle. If both ankles were swollen, then I might think that it was mycoplasma synovitis, a bacterial infectious disease of the joints in poultry. But since there is swelling and green bruising that is typical of chicken bruises, it looks more like a sprain or a broken foot. I would continue the antibiotic that your vet started and finish it. I would limite her activity in a pen or large dog crate with food and water within sight of the other chickens so that she does not get lonely or need to be reintroduced later.
I really appreciate your response. I never thought about a sprain. How long does a sprain take to heal? Should I leave her confined 24/7 or do you let her out for a little bit of time? It's hard since I live in WI and work in IL during the week.
Well if there is a sprain, it can several weeks or as much as a broken foot could take to heal. Limiting her activity in a dog crate, but keeping her with her friends could keep her spirits up. Is there someone at home that can manage her while you are away working? Splinting might be helpful to support the ankle. Do you think that your vet might help with that? That way you could clear that with your vet so that you are doing something that the vet agrees with. I wound hate to give you the wrong advice. Here are some YouTube videos on splinting the lower leg and one for wrapping a foot:


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